Faces & Places of Yesterday

Photos of yesterday, featuring regular people and regular places.

press correspondents and photographers on the White House lawn - 1918

White House Photographers in 1918

This is a great one to kick off our new Ghosts of DC design. This photograph shows a group of White House photographers from the press pool, standing on the South Lawn back in 1918.
Police raid a gambler's den. Several loads of book makers were taken from the E. St. address by the police (Library of Congress)

Police Raid Gambler’s Den on E Street

A huge gambling bust happened on January 31st, 1925. The location was a crowded restaurant on E St. where people would gather for illegal dice games and gambling. The Washington Post reported on it the following...
City of Washington, statistical maps / compiled by Lieut. F.V. Greene, assistant to the Engineer Commissioner, July 1st 1880 ; compiled by Lieut. F.V. Greene, U.S. Eng'rs ... to accompany the annual report of the Commissioners of the District of Columbia for the year ending June 30th 1880 ; Wm. T.O. Bruff, del., Eng'r Dept., D.C.

City of Washington Property Values Map From 1880

Interesting … it appears that property in Shaw and Mt. Vernon square is worth three to four times more that in Dupont Circle. This is a fascinating map and we know GoDCers love maps. Click the...
GWU girls rifle team near the Lincoln Memorial - February 2nd, 1927 (Library of Congress)

George Washington University Girls Rifle Team

It’s probably safe to say that this team no longer exists as an intercollegiate or even intramural team at GWU. Well, in 1927, the GW girls rifle team was good … really good. They won the...
1907 Baist real estate atlas for Ledroit Park and Bloomingdale

1907 Map of LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale

We now know that GoDCers love maps. They seriously love maps, because our most popular post ever was the 1851 map of Washington. So, let’s satisfy that hunger for more maps with this one from 1907....
Potomac bathing beach - May 28, 1923 (Shorpy)

Kick Off Memorial Day Weekend at Potomac Bathing Beach

Here’s a great shot from Shorpy of kids in the waters at Potomac bathing beach (I wouldn’t do this today). This is the official kickoff of summer in 1923, Memorial Day weekend. Click on the image...
March 21, 1927. Washington, D.C. "Ruth Jardine (at right) and class at Amaryllis show. (Shorpy)

Ruth Jardine Visits the U.S. Botanic Gardens

Below is a photo from 1927 of Ruth Jardine, the daughter of Secretary of Agriculture William M. Jardine. William was also Ambassador to Egypt during President Hoover‘s Administration. Related articles Decapitated by the Hangman’s Rope (ghostsofdc.org)...
U.S. casualty being treated at Naktong River

Philip Hughes: Skinny Kid From Brookland Killed in Korea

I checked my email the other day to find this email from a GoDCer. Emails like this are exactly why I started this blog. Not only is it fascinating, but it’s really important to remember the...
Aerial view of a traffic jam, 14th Street and the Mall, Washington, D.C., Apr. 1937. 30-N-37-1360A. (National Archives)

Ugh, Traffic Sucks

Think your commute home today will suck? Check this out … Constitution Avenue circa 1937. By the way, do you know why it’s called Constitution Avenue? If not, read this post. Related articles Bus Strike Creates...
Clara Barton's Missing Soldiers Office

Afternoon Video: Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office

We put out a call the other day for some story suggestions and GoDCer from Chicago, Rose, sent along the idea of digging into Clara Barton’s former office and boarding house on 7th St. NW. This...

Naval Academy Midshipmen at Superintendent’s House (1901)

This is an excellent photo from Shorpy. It shows a class of midshipmen in 1901 at the Naval Academy, hanging out on the porch of the superintendent’s home. Click on it for a larger image. Related...

A Day in the Life of Washington, 1936 [VIDEO]

This has to be one of the best finds in a long time … and this appears to be authored by fellow GoDCer Brian at National Journal. The film he uncovered is from the Works Progress Administration,...
The New Hadleigh Apartments - August 9th, 1919 (Washington Times)

This Day in History: Birth of the Camden Roosevelt

Washington Times, August 9th, 1919 A new $2,000,000 apartment hotel is to be erected at once on the property bounded by Sixteenth street, New Hampshire avenue, V and W streets. The building will be complete in...
Putnam's Billard Parlor advertisement - December 7th, 1911 (Washington Herald)

Putnam’s Billiard Parlor: The Finest in the United States

Here’s an advertisement from December 7th, 1911 in the Washington Herald. If you’re a frequent patron of Buffalo Billiards, Bedrock Billiards or the former Kokopooli’s, you’ll find this interesting. Here’s a small mention of the place...
"Walk," "Don't Walk," "No Right Turn," "Thru Only": a complicated traffic signal to uncomplicate Washington, D.C., traffic, 1949. 306-PS-49-2682. (National Archives)

Most Confusing Traffic Signs Ever

I came across this photo in the Library of Congress’ archives. It’s clear that these traffic signs are completely unclear. How the hell do you make sense of this? From the Lorstan Photographers studio in the...
Washington, D.C., circa 1917. "Devereux child in chariot." Late for the toga party. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. (Shorpy)

Chariot Late for Toga Party

Bizarre? Definitely. Here’s a classic that was on Shorpy. The caption doesn’t reveal very much information, nor does it tell us where this was taken, but I think the photo speaks for itself. It appears to...
Classroom scenes in Washington, D.C. public schools: studying live dog, 5th Division -1899 (Library of Congress)

Studying a Live Dog in Kindergarten

Here’s an interesting scene that you probably wouldn’t see kindergarten today. This classroom of children is learning about, what appears to be, the anatomy of a live dog. This was taken by the local great, Frances...
Montgomery County, Maryland. The roller coaster at Glen Echo Park in 1926. (Shorpy)

Upsy-Downsy-Daisy Roller Coaster

The image below is great, especially when you click on it for a larger version. Check out the expressions of the riders … priceless. Relative to what we have today, this is probably a joke, but...
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